My love for holiday books (as my love for ALL books) stems from my mom. One of my favorite memories from childhood was getting into the basket of special books that we got out at the beginning of the Christmas season to look through the books I hadn’t seen in a whole year! I love carrying on that tradition with my boys.
We have started another tradition as well, the 12 Books of Christmas. I use our Scholastic Book Clubs to order 12 new books for the boys each Christmas season. Then we open one each night in the days leading up to the big one. It is a great way to get them some new books for the year (as well as some more Christmas ones to add to our collection). The Scholastic Book Clubs help us to give back the the boys’ respective classrooms and offer us relatively inexpensive books to choose from – it’s a win win!
If you haven’t used Scholastic’s site before, it is so easy to do so even if you have multiple kids with different classrooms to help. They each get their own profile and Scholastic makes the whole process so easy! There’s almost always a code to get a free book as well.
I am always trying to think of ways to keep my boys excited about books, and this is one I have really fallen in love with. The boys are already in the holiday spirit, and the idea of getting to open things up early is so much fun for them. I usually give them a mix of holiday and everyday books just to keep it interesting. It is getting a little trickier with my 7 yo because he wants more chapter books that cannot be read in one night. So I try to give him a mix of those and picture books that he will enjoy as well. Stay tuned to my Instagram to see which ones I end up picking out for this year!
If you don’t have a Scholastic Book Club to order from, or you missed your last one before the holidays, or you find a new book to love that isn’t from Scholastic, I will put links to the Christmas books we love on Amazon. Sometimes you just can’t beat that one-day Prime shipping, amiright??
Alright, without further ado …
Bear Stays Up for Christmas – by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
We love the message of friendship and the spirit of giving in this beautifully illustrated book. It is usually one of the first ones we read just because it gets us into the true spirit of the holidays.
An Elf’s Story – by Chandra A. Bell
This is typically one of the first books we read for the season as well. Of course, we HAVE to watch its accompanying dvd (also on Prime Video!)- some years we do so on repeat all.season.long. But the kids love it and it reminds them about the special magic of our elf, Hank.
The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear – by Stan and Jan Berenstain
If you have been reading our posts for a while, you already know how much we LOVE Berenstain Bears (see this post for a little about why). I’ve been a fan for 30+ years, and I imagine (fingers crossed) my oldest will end up passing these treasures down to his kids as well. So Santa Bear is a must in our house.
The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree – by Stand and Jan Berenstain
Because you can’t have one without the other! There’s a wonderful version of this on YouTube as well!
Santa’s Toy Shop – by Al Dempster
Our collection of Little Golden Book Christmas books is no joke, but this is one of our favorites! We love all of the classics as well – Rudolph, The Night Before Christmas, Frosty the Snowman – but if you haven’t read this one, it is definitely worth it.
Mooseltoe – by Margie Palatini
This is one of our favorite purchases from last year’s 12 Books of Christmas tradition! It is an adorable story about a dad trying his best to make Christmas “perfectly perfect” for his kiddos. It’s a story all parents can relate to and all kids love to read!
When you live in Indiana, Christmas time also means lots of time inside. This activity book helps bust the boredom for sure!
Little Blue Truck’s Christmas – by Alice Schertle
We love all of the Little Blue Truck books, and this one is no exception. The twinkling lights at the end are a wonderful surprise for little readers!
There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed some Snow! – by Lucille Colandro
My oldest has been obsessed with There Was an Old Lady … books for a few years now. He finds them absolutely hysterical. I can’t really blame him, so we ordered this one a few years ago as a 12 Books of Christmas present as well. It was a hit!
Just a Snowman – by Mercer Mayer
Sometimes it is nice to have some cold weather books to keep the magic alive for a while after Christmas is over, and you can’t go wrong with Little Critter.
Elmo’s Christmas Hugs – by Matt Mitter
This was a favorite when the boys were really small. They loved the arms that hug the pages and always give them a hug at the end. (Sigh – books like this one make me miss having babies so so so much!)
The M&M’s Christmas Gift Book – by Barabara Barbieri McGrath and Peggy Tagel
This is a great book to use while you are trying to bake some Christmas cookies, make dinner, or even just take a few minutes to sit. Warning, it does involve you counting out some M&M’s for your little one to enjoy, so make sure you are prepared.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – by Susanna Davidson (Unfortunately, this one is currently out of stock. Hopefully it will be back before next Christmas!)
This is a new one we have already purchased for this year’s 12 Books of Christmas! I can’t wait to give it to the boys. It has wonderful pop-up images that accompany the classic story. Unfortunately it is sold out online, but if you have an Usborne seller you know or see it at a craft fair still this season, you should definitely pick it up. It is gorgeous!
These books have been popular in our house since the boys were babies, and they still ask for them EVERY year! Unfortunately, I could only find a link to the reindeer one of Amazon, so if you see them in a store or at a garage sale sometime, you should definitely get them there! The boys seem to love the small size of these treasures more than anything. We have some other lift-the-flap holiday books, but these are by far the favorites.
As always, thanks for reading! I will be posting pics of the new books we do for 12 Books of Christmas this year on Instagram, so make sure you check those out as well.